Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Food glorious food

Over the months, we've progressed to a combination of finger foods and pureed concoctions.  As we approach the one year mark, I find it increasingly difficult to remember the 3-day rule (introduce new foods for 3 days running before introducing any other foods so you can track allergic reactions) since the only "allergies" we've found so far are to persimmons (little pink dots all over him - didn't appear to be uncomfortable, just colorful!) and the Happy Bellies Multi Grain cereal that has quinoa and amaranth in it (he threw it back up - needless to say, that was a "1 day rule" item).   So, it's not like he's having any allergic reactions to, oh, say cheese or steak and it really slows us down in the evenings trying to think about everything that goes into our dinner to see if he can have some (OK...can he have some of my spaghetti?  Did we try garlic and onions yet, or just garlic....)  I never really thought about how complex and multi-ingredient most of our food is.

And now, we're trying to ease him into trying foods at daycare.  If I thought he had a lot of ingredients to contend with before, I was WRONG!  They, of course, have all kinds of preservatives and difficult to pronounce chemicals in their foods and I have to figure out whether I want him to be exposed to any of that (does the 3-day rule apply to micro-crystalline cellulose, disodium inosinate, or partially hydrogenated soybean oil?  and how do you partially hydrogenate a soybean anyway???)

People talk a lot about how difficult it can be to have children - the worrying, the sleep deprivation, etc. - but what they never mention is the constant decision making.  I think that is the most exhausting and challenging part of child rearing - the never-ending cycle of having to make a million tiny decisions for a whole other person.  What should he wear today?  What should he eat?  Is it time for a nap, a diaper, a bath, a book?  Does he need more/less stimulation? Should I give Tylenol, a bottle, or just rock him?  We get exhausted making similar decisions for ourselves all day long - it's not surprising that trying to do it for yourself and someone else is even more taxing.

But I keep reminding myself - it's not forever.  And soon, there's a day coming when I will wish I was still making those decisions for him when he insists on chicken nuggets, day-glo orange pants, and that he doesn't need a bath ever.  So I try to enjoy it while I can :)

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